Re: nothing magic about lightning

Mike Stafford
I am no expert on poplar wood or lightning nor the effect of lightning on poplar wood.

But a few years ago lightning struck a large poplar tree in a neighbor's back yard and exploded that tree which was probably 16" in diameter to the point where about all that was left were blanks for pens and toothpicks. The tree was at the back of their property, about 70 feet from their house and pieces of that tree were on their roof and in their front yard. The tree was practically exploded all the way to the ground.

Bad enough that they had to clean up the mess and there was a mess as there were wood fragments for hundreds of feet in every direction. But the worst of it was that they lost their heat pumps, refrigerator, TV's, computer and virtually everything else that was plugged in during the strike. The lightning ran from that tree to their house and somehow managed to ruin everything electrical in it.

I always thought mineral staining in woods was just that....stains from minerals. Of course sometimes the minerals are as the result of human actions when a nail or spike ends up embedded in a tree. Those stains don't always occur in just live wood; they also happen in old timbers. I have seen it many times when I scrounge scraps from the scrap pile at a lumber mill where they reclaim old timbers from warehouses, barns and old houses.

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